Leader, I write this because you like me may need to occasionally change course as you work towards your leadership goals. I am writing this because I want you to go ahead and do it! I have found that I begin a project or an idea believing that I understand what needs to be done only to get into the work and find that a completely different issue is what actually needs to be addressed . Pivoting is important because leadership requires flexibility. Here is one of my favorite TEDx talks given by entrepreneur Steve Rogers on the power of pivoting. Check in starting at minute 2:30
The truth of the matter is that we do not have all of the answers. This is a gamble that we are all taking when we think of leading change, building connections, and making an impact on our world.
Sometimes a serendipitous encounter leads us to ideas that we may not have considered or relationships that help push us towards our goals. Keep that in mind as you pursue your leadership goals. Whether you want to be CEO, COO, Superintendent, President, Principal, or PTA chair remember that you may need to change your view of the problem in order to be highly effective. You may need a pivot. I have left jobs, changed teams, and enrolled in graduate school all as a result of a pivot. I haven’t regretted those choices either. When you recognize that a change needs to be made whether it is in schedule, presentation, or your life do not be afraid to go after it. Change is a part of “flow” and a pivot should not cause fear. This is your life and your work. If what you are doing is not working change it. You do not, I might add, need to wait for the rest of your team to pivot with you. If you have to go alone you do so. I do not mean that you go all maverick, abandon your team with little explanation, and blaze your own trail while burning bridges behind you. What I do mean is that if you are working on a team and a pivot is needed, bring it to the team’s attention and talk your change over with them. If you need their support to get the work accomplished, maybe you can find a middle ground and pull off an effective project. If you cannot do that I would talk the circumstance over with a trusted mentor to see what they suggest. Remember that leadership is already a relatively lonely pursuit. There is no need to forever cut anyone off unnecessarily. Trust me you do not need any additional enemies in your profession so be considerate of any team you may be on! If you are working alone then go ahead! Pivot and do so with confidence. You know what new moves need to be made so stop second guessing yourself and make them. Remember to lead is to constantly learn, and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. There is nothing wrong with changing course. ~Dr. Kia